CHAPTER 17. BOARD OF TAX APPEALS - 47 Chapter 17 (2014).pdf1 CHAPTER 17. BOARD OF TAX APPEALS PART I.…
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CHAPTER 17. BOARD OF TAX APPEALS
PART I. GENERAL PROVISIONS
1401. Creation of Board of Tax Appeals
In order to provide a board that will act as an appeal board to hear and decide, at a minimum of expense to the taxpayer, questions of law and fact arising from disputes or controversies between a taxpayer and the collector of revenue of the State of Louisiana in the enforcement of any tax, excise, license, permit or any other tax law administered by the collector, and to exercise jurisdiction as provided for in the Uniform Local Sales Tax Code, the Board of Tax Appeals, hereinafter referred to as the "board", is created as an independent agency in the Department of State Civil Service, and for the purposes of this Chapter.
1402. Membership of board; qualifications; appointment; term; vacancy; salary
A. (1) The Board of Tax Appeals shall be composed of three members who shall be attorneys and who shall be qualified electors of the state. At least two of the board members shall be attorneys with tax law experience. At least one of these two board members shall be certified as a Tax Law Specialist by the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization. Each member shall be appointed by the governor. Vacancies shall be filled in the manner of the original appointment.
(2) For the purposes of this Subsection, tax law experience shall mean an attorney admitted to the practice of law in Louisiana who possesses a Masters of Law in Taxation or Tax Law, is board certified as a Tax Law Specialist in this state, is licensed as a certified public accountant in this state, or who has served pursuant to Article V, Section 22 of the Louisiana Constitution as a judge of a district or appellate court.
B. Each appointment to the board by the governor shall be submitted to the Senate for confirmation.
C. The governor shall make the following appointments on or before September 1, 2014: one member with a term expiring February 1, 2016, and one member with a term expiring February 1, 2018. Any subsequent appointments pursuant to this Subsection shall be for either a fixed term of four years or for the remainder of an unexpired term.
D. (1) On or before August 1, 2014, the governor shall appoint one member to a term expiring February 1, 2020, from a list of qualified nominees provided by the nominating committee established pursuant to this Subsection. Any subsequent appointments pursuant to this Subsection shall be for either a fixed term of six years or for the remainder of an unexpired term.
(2) The nominating committee shall be responsible for developing a list of not less than one, nor more than three, qualified nominees for any vacancy. Any person nominated by the committee must be an attorney with experience in Louisiana sales tax law, and at least one nominee shall be certified as a Tax Law Specialist by the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization.
(3) The Local Tax Division Nominating Committee is hereby established to be comprised of eight members who shall be either an attorney licensed to practice law in Louisiana, a certified public accountant, or a parish tax administrator. The committee shall be comprised of the following members:
(a) A representative of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry.
(b) A representative of the Society of Louisiana Certified Public Accountants, selected in consultation with the Business and Industry Committee of the Louisiana Association of Tax Administrators.
(c) Two representatives of the section on taxation of the Louisiana State Bar Association, with one selected in consultation with the National Bar Association Greater New Orleans Chapter Louis A. Martinet Society.
(d) A representative of the Louisiana Municipal Association.
(e) A representative of the Police Jury Association of Louisiana.
(f) A representative of the Louisiana School Boards Association.
(g) A representative of the Louisiana Sheriffs' Association.
(4) The secretary-clerk of the board shall maintain the records of the nominating committee, and shall call an organizational meeting of the nominating committee in order for the nominating committee to elect its chairman. The chairman, or a majority of committee members, may call meetings of the committee, and shall provide advance notice of all meetings to the members and to the appointing entities referenced in Paragraph (3) of this Subsection.
(5) Six members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of committee business, and each nomination must be approved by a favorable vote of at least five committee members.
E. (1) A board member shall continue to serve until a successor has been appointed. No member may be removed during an unexpired term of office except for good cause shown, which shall be subject to judicial review.
(2) A member who has served on the board for more than two and one-half terms occurring within three consecutive terms shall be ineligible for reappointment to the board until at least two years from the last day of his last appointment. However, a member may be reappointed notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, if nominated pursuant to Subsection D of this Section, and service pursuant to that Subsection is not counted for the purposes of any term or service limitation.
F. The governor shall establish the compensation to be paid to members of the board, including any additional compensation for its officers. A member's compensation shall not be reduced during his unexpired term of office.
1403. Designation of officers; domicile; quorum; seal
A. (1) The governor shall designate a chairman from the membership of the Board of Tax Appeals.
(2) The member other than the chairman with the longest service on the board shall be its vice chairman, and shall perform duties as may be specified in the rules of the board and delegated by the chairman.
(3) The member appointed pursuant to R.S. 47:1402(D) shall be the hearing judge of the Local Tax Division of the board. For the purposes of the Local Tax Division, the judge shall exercise all jurisdiction, authority, and powers of the board and its chairman, including the hearing of cases to be adjudicated in the division and the rendering of orders and judgments in such cases. The remainder of the board may temporarily exercise these functions during any vacancy in this appointment, but may hear and render judgment in a case in the division only if this appointment remains vacant for more than ninety days.
B. (1) The principal office and domicile of the board shall be at Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
(2) The board may hold meetings at any place within the state, and any member, when designated by the chairman, may act as a hearing judge and conduct hearings for the purpose of receiving testimony, argument, or both and reporting his findings of fact, law, or both to the board for decision or judgment.
(3) The time and place of meetings and hearings shall be designated by the chairman, with a view of securing reasonable opportunity to taxpayers to appear before the board with as little inconvenience and expense to parties and witnesses as is practicable.
(4) With the consent of all parties or upon the request of the taxpayer in a pre-trial matter involving only a state collector, the board may allow for a hearing to be held by telephone, video conference, or similar communication equipment, including the administration of oaths in proceedings.
(5) Upon the motion of the local collector, a hearing in a matter involving only local taxing authorities from a single parish shall be held in that parish. The respective district or other local court shall make available any facilities necessary for the hearing, and any relevant expenses may be taxed as costs, including any costs for a hearing judge in the same amount as specified in R.S. 47:1417(C)(2).
(6)(a)(i) Upon the joint motion of all parties in any matter, or pursuant to an election made by the local collector in accordance with the provisions of Subparagraph (b) of this Paragraph, a case filed with the board shall be heard in the board's Local Tax Division.
(ii) A case designated to be heard in the Local Tax Division shall be adjudicated as provided for in R.S. 47:1403(A)(3).
(iii) A case designated to be heard in the Local Tax Division may thereafter instead be heard and adjudicated by the entire board only upon the joint motion of all parties. However, any board member may exercise the powers granted in R.S. 47:1408, and the chairman may issue other non-dispositive orders concerning cases in the division upon the joint motion of all parties or, in the absence of and at the direction of the hearing judge.
(b) A local collector may elect in advance to have all cases against that local collector heard in the Local Tax Division. Such election shall be made, or repealed, in the form of an affidavit executed by the local collector. The affidavit shall be effective only for those cases filed with the board against that local collector at least ninety days after the filing of the affidavit with the board's secretary-clerk. The secretary-clerk shall publish a list on the board's website identifying the respective dates on which any such affidavits were filed.
C. A majority of the members of the board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of the business of the board, except as otherwise provided in this Chapter. A vacancy in the board shall not impair the powers nor affect the duties of the board, nor of the remaining members of the board.
D. The board shall have a seal which shall be judicially noticed. Such seal may be used to authenticate the official acts of the board or any member thereof, but failure to use the seal shall not invalidate any such act.
1404. Employees of the board
The board shall appoint as its principal assistant a secretary-clerk who shall be custodian of its files and records, and one private secretary who may also be the stenographer-reporter for the board. The board shall also appoint any other employees necessary for the performance of the functions herein delegated. The board shall fix the salaries of the secretary-clerk, stenographer-reporter and other employees.
1405. Retention of records and property by the board
All books, papers, records, moneys and other property, heretofore used or possessed by the board as heretofore existing, shall be retained by that board as it is created and continued herein.
The board is authorized to make such expenditures (including expenditures for personal services and for law books, books of reference and periodicals), as may be necessary to efficiently execute the functions vested in the board. All expenditures of the board shall be allowed and paid, out of any monies appropriated for the purposes of the board. The board's self-generated revenue from local cases filed with the board pursuant to the provisions of the Uniform Local Sales Tax Code shall be expended exclusively for the purposes of its Local Tax Division, and may be retained by the board and carried forward for such purposes.
1407. Jurisdiction of the board
The jurisdiction of the board shall extend to the following:
(1) All matters relating to appeals for the redetermination of assessments, or for the determination of overpayments, or payment under protest petitions, as provided in R.S. 47:1431 through 1438.
(2) All matters relating to the waiver of penalties, as provided in R.S. 47:1451.
(3) All matters related to other jurisdiction otherwise provided by law, including rules to seek uniformity of interpretation of common sales and use tax law or local sales and use tax law, as provided in R.S. 47:337.101(A)(2).
(4) All matters relating to claims against the state, as provided in R.S. 47:1481 through 1486.
1408. Power to administer oaths and issue subpoenas
A. For purposes of enforcing or administering this Chapter, any member of the board and the secretary-clerk for the board shall have the following powers:
(1) Any board member and the secretary-clerk may administer oaths and take affidavits.
(2) Any board member may compel discovery, issue subpoenas, and require the attendance of witnesses and the production of books, papers, and documents pertaining to the matter under inquiry, at any designated place of hearing.
(3) Any board member may examine witnesses, and may require the taking of depositions before any person competent to administer oaths, either within or without the state, in like manner that depositions of witnesses are taken or discovery is compelled in civil actions in the district courts of the state.
B. Any party to a matter pending before the board may summon witnesses or require the production of papers, other documents, answers to requests for admissions, or answers to
interrogatories in the same manner as witnesses are summoned, discovery completed, or papers required to be produced in civil actions in the district courts of the state.
C. If any person fails to comply with any order or subpoena issued under authority of this Chapter, or refuses to testify to any matter regarding which he may be lawfully interrogated, a judge of the district court of the parish in which such person either resides or may be personally served, or any other judge with personal jurisdiction over such person, on application of the board or any member thereof, shall immediately compel obedience by ordering the issuance of an instanter subpoena, or other appropriate process for contempt, or a rule as in the case of disobedience of the requirements of a subpoena issued from such court or a refusal to testify therein.
1409. Witness fees and mileage
Any person summoned or whose deposition is taken shall receive the same fees and mileage as would be allowed in a civil action pending in the district courts and the expense thereof shall be paid by the person summoning such witness or causing the deposition to be taken. These expenses may be assessed as costs by the board.
1410. Findings of fact, decisions, and opinions
A. The board shall, in each case heard by it, or in any matter referred to it by the collector or in each case submitted to it upon stipulations of agreement and fact, issue written findings of fact and conclusions of law and make and file a written decision or judgment thereon.
B. (1) The board may, in its discretion, issue written reasons in addition to its decision or judgment.
(2) Upon the request of any party, the board shall issue written reasons in addition to its judgment in a case.
(3) Any additional written reasons issued pursuant to this Subsection shall be published on the board's website.
1411. Documents to be served by registered mail
All papers or documents filed with the board which are required by law to be served upon opposing party or which because of a prayer contained therein, are asked to be served upon the...